National Forklift Safety DayJune 10, 2019
Forklifts offer a wide range of advantages to workers whose job involves lifting and moving heavy objects. For example, they can maneuver in relatively narrow areas, they can reach items that are on elevated locations, and they are much safer than the ropes, cables, and pulleys that were used before forklifts became available. However, if employees are not properly trained on how to safely operate a forklift, or other workers in the vicinity are not paying attention, the machine can cause serious and fatal injuries. National Forklift Safety Day takes place on June 11 and reminds employers to make safety a priority and provide the necessary training for employees who will be operating a forklift.
Hosted by the Industrial Truck Association, the event provides attendees with the opportunity to come to Washington, D.C. and interact with other industry leaders, representatives, and senators to discuss a range of safety issues and policy concerns that impact the industry. Speakers will include government officials, safety experts, and industry representatives who will discuss the importance of effective training programs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), performance scores improve by 61 percent after completing the forklift operator training.
Top Forklift Hazards
The following are examples of common hazards associated with forklifts. By raising awareness of these hazards, workers can take the necessary steps to avoid them.
- Maneuvering: Forklifts have rear-ended steering, which gives them a tight turn radius for the front of the machine. The back-end swings wide. Employees who are working in the vicinity of a forklift should maintain a safe distance from the machine, particularly when it is turning.
- Blind Spots: If the load on the forklift is large, it can create blind spots for the operator. Therefore, when the forklift is in reverse, the operator may not see other workers or pedestrians who are in the driver’s blind spot.
- Load Stability: If the load is unbalanced or too heavy, it can become unstable and fall. In addition, if the operator is driving too fast, or the floor or roadway is wet or oily, the forklift can skid or tip over, causing the load to fall.
- Fueling: Diesel, propane, and hydrogen gas generated by battery recharging operations can all cause serious fire hazards. Workers should never smoke when refueling or recharging a forklift.
- Speed: Like any other vehicle, forklift operators must obey speed limits and other rules of the road. A slow-moving forklift can do as much damage as a car driving at 15 miles per hour, particularly if the machine is carrying a heavy load.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Forklift Accidents
If you were seriously injured in a forklift accident while on the job, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Our experienced and dedicated legal team will walk you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the maximum financial benefits you are entitled. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.